Inquiring Minds - Help With Pricing & Clueless Customer

Decorating By vmw774180 Updated 29 Nov 2010 , 5:20am by DARYLNDI

vmw774180 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 6:53pm
post #1 of 32

I just want to get opinions from all the experts as to what you would have charged for this cake

http://photos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs468.ash1/25711_10150108083545068_605760067_11362984_6282106_n.jpg

I have a hard time pricing and I need to look out for my bottom line better.

I told this customer 85.00 which I already felt was low for the size including the bow.

Well then she says they want fresh strawberry cake and cream cheese icing. I had not done strawberry and cream cheese of this size and didn't realize how much more that would cost me. So you live and learn and next time there will defiantely be an upcharge for such things

This leads me to the next thing I need input on. So the same lady sent me an email requesting a Lingerie cake for a bridals shower, first of all she says she doesn't really have time to look at ideas and for me to decide. So I say ok, how many people will you need to serve. Her answer is "I would say around 50 people. I must say, I do not want an $85.00 cake because My daughter has to pay for the cake herself" WHAT??
Help, what should I tell her - I was thinking of doing a sheet cake with two half balls decorated like teddy, reg vanilla cake with buttercream only.

At this point I kinda want to tell her I just don't have time???

31 replies
peg818 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 7:12pm
post #2 of 32

tell her your price and if its too much there is always the grocery store. I would offer two options to her, a basic sheet cake, and the fancier cake you would like to make.

jadak Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 7:24pm
post #3 of 32

I think you need to tell her a minimum price for a cake to feed 50. For me, that'd be minimally $100. So, if you're price (minimally) is too high for her daughter, then she needs to go elsewhere.

Personally, I really think you need to give her a realistic quote based on a price per serving or a design or whatever. If you don;t do this now, this lady is going to keep coming to you oredering cakes and telling you how much she wants to pay. That's not at all fair to you and you are going to lose money, burn out and get real resentful real fast.

Quote her and if she says it's too much, say you're sorry, but that's the best you can do and she can try a grocery store to meet her budget needs.

mrswendel Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 7:26pm
post #4 of 32

Your price is your price....if she doesn't want to pay it, she can go elsewhere. A cake for 50 people is not a small cake. My base price for a buttercream cake, torted and filled (4 layers of cake, 3 layers of filling) would be $125.

Loucinda Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 7:31pm
post #5 of 32

You have gotten some good advice already, I know the hardpart is standing up and telling them that! I just wanted to let you know that it gets easier to do that each time. Figure your pricing, and then be firm! Good luck!

(there are lots of posts on the subject of how to figure pricing out - if you do a google search, a TON of them will come up for you to read. There are several that have good info, just skim over the posts that are not helpful!)

vmw774180 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 7:48pm
post #6 of 32

Thanks so much ladies - this is what my head has already been telling me. I am going to work it up tonight and sent it to her and wait for the fallout. LOL

marisworthit Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 7:57pm
post #7 of 32

FYI-the posts that some people think aren't helpful, are actually the most helpful ones. Truly. icon_wink.gif

TexasSugar Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 7:59pm
post #8 of 32

Your price is your price, and they either pay it or not. If they don't want to pay the price for a custom cake then they can pay for a cookie cutter cake from somewhere else.

costumeczar Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 8:04pm
post #9 of 32

You need to set a minimum price to save yourself aggravation. Also, not everyone is your customer, so don't feel that you need to "help" everyone by doing every order you receive. That's the fast road to burnout city.

vmw774180 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 8:14pm
post #10 of 32

I love all the help on here - I think that is part of my problem, is in fact, trying to do every order received.

catlharper Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 8:17pm
post #11 of 32

My minimum BC price is $3 a serving...so $150 for this cake to feed 50. Stick to your prices...people will pay for the work!

JaimeAnn Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 8:22pm
post #12 of 32

My prices start at $3.00 per serving for BASIC cake. So in my opinion you underchareged. but there are a lot of factors to consider in establishing your price chart.

1= where you live.
2= your overhead, do you have a shop or are you home based .
3= your skill level.


It is much easier to give people a price when you already have a set list. When they ask how much, give them a copy and say these are my prices if you would like to place an order or discuss a design this is what you work from.

Here is what my price list looks like. Feel Free to use it, you can open it in microsoft paint and change the per serving prices to suit your own needs.
If it doesn't show up big enough on here PM me with your email and I will send it to you.


Image

mamawrobin Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 8:25pm
post #13 of 32

I agree with everyone else. Tell her your price and if it's more than she wants to pay she can always get a sheet cake from the grocery store. Don't lower your prices for her.

vmw774180 Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 3:12am
post #14 of 32

Thanks so much Jaime - that is awesome

JaimeAnn Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 3:17am
post #15 of 32

Sure.....I am here to share! icon_smile.gif ... there are a few other templates in my photos if you are looking for something else.

marisworthit Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 3:34am
post #16 of 32

Why on God's green earth would you start charging less when you have to do more work?

JaimeAnn Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 4:52am
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by marisworthit

Why on God's green earth would you start charging less when you have to do more work?




I'm not really sure what you are refering to.

marisworthit Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 5:03am
post #18 of 32

Oh your pricing. Bigger cakes, bigger boards, more support systems, harder to handle....but cheaper? Maybe I'm missing something.

kittiecakes Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 5:28am
post #19 of 32

Wow, interesting information. Thanks a bunch!

Strange to see people offer advice with no advice though. icon_confused.gif

JaimeAnn Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 6:05am
post #20 of 32

It is what works for me . It is no harder for me to make a 10" cake than an 8" cake. same amount of work for me . In fact I would rather do a bigger cake . I would rather do 1 cake for 150 servings than 4- 8" cakes . Actually the smaller cakes cost me more in supplies. I make my own cake boards. I never use more than 6 dowels per tier no matter what size the cake . more dowels actually makes it less stable. Most of the time when figuring servings you don't get the exact number they want anyway they usally have to go bigger to get the amount they want.

example: Say someone wants a 3 tiered stacked cake for 100 servings ,basic buttercream $3.00 per serving well I would have to do a 12" 10" & 8" that is 118 servings $325 or a 10" 8" 6" for 74 servings $222. I would then have to make up the extra servings some other way say a kitchen cake for 26 servings at $3.00 / serving =$78 for a total of $300..... more work and $25 less for me. or they would do with only 74 servings. It is no harder for me to make the same cake in the larger size but it is harder to get 100 servings from the smaller cake. And if they decide to go with only the 74 servings I am making $100 less for the order. Incentive for the bride to get the extra servings is a small discount on the per serving price and easier work for me.

So in the long run the 25 cent per serving discount actually ends up being an Upsell.....

Like I said this is just what works for me and I hope I explained that in a way everyone can understand what I am saying.

Nacnacweazel Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 6:05am
post #21 of 32

I am just starting out myself. I had only done one cake for an actual "customer" and knew that I was probably off on my price, but I had never done this before. The very next person that asked me about a cake for them gave me this same type of dilemma. They wanted a cake to feed 50 to 60 people, in a "Candyland" theme, with strawberry filling, buttercream icing, figures, bows...you name it. First of all, I thought it was going to be an ugly cake the way they wanted it so, I didn't really want to do it anyway. When I told them that they were looking at about a $300 minimum they WENT OFF on me and told me that I was just crazy to think that I could charge that much for a cake. Well, after they got a quote from a local bakery of $750 they came back to me and asked again. In the mean time, I went to my local Albertsons and checked out their prices on a comparable cake from them...$375. I took Albertsons' price sheet with me and showed it to her, explaining that anything I made was going to be of much higher quality than what she would get from the supermarket, so the lowest price I could quote her was going to be $400. I didn't get the order..and I'm fine with that. It was a huge learning experience for me. The main thing I learned is that my work has value, and people will pay it if that's what they want. If they don't, you probably don't want them as a customer anyway. icon_rolleyes.gif

JaimeAnn Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 6:53am
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nacnacweazel

In the mean time, I went to my local Albertsons and checked out their prices on a comparable cake from them...$375. I took Albertsons' price sheet with me and showed it to her, explaining that anything I made was going to be of much higher quality than what she would get from the supermarket, so the lowest price I could quote her was going to be $400. I didn't get the order..and I'm fine with that. It was a huge learning experience for me. The main thing I learned is that my work has value, and people will pay it if that's what they want. If they don't, you probably don't want them as a customer anyway. icon_rolleyes.gif





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Linda2010 Posted 31 Jul 2010 , 3:58am
post #23 of 32

Can anybody give me an advise on prices for dummy cakes?

I live in a resort area where many people marry on the beach. The hotels where they have their wedding parties provide deserts, that is why the bride and groom ask me for dummys or mixed dummy and cake.

I am charging 80 Dlls for a two tier dummy, plus a refundable 15 Dlls depósit, plus the price of a six inch cake.

Do you think it´s fare? icon_confused.gif

Thank you in advance for your advise

Linda2010 Posted 31 Jul 2010 , 4:11am
post #24 of 32

JaimeAnn:

I think your policy on less price for bigger cakes makes a lot of sense. In a way it is an incentive for people to buy more from you.

It works for me.
Thank you for sharing your information

cakesbyamber Posted 31 Jul 2010 , 4:25am
post #25 of 32

Linda, I wouldn't charge much less (if anything less) than what you would normally charge for a real cake. From my experience it takes just as much time to decorate a dummy and the cost of materials is about the same. You aren't really eliminating any work besides baking the cake and that is the easiest part of the job. I recently quoted a cake for a lady who wanted a dummy cake from me and wanted her grandma to make sheet cakes. I think she thought it would be cheaper this way and I think the price caught her off guard. I feel bad because they aren't getting as much "bang for their buck," but that's their choice. Your situation is a little different, with it being a tourist/resort area. Just make sure you are still making a fair profit on your end, if so it will be fair on their end too.

Linda2010 Posted 31 Jul 2010 , 6:11pm
post #26 of 32

Amber:

Thank you very much for your response. It is a good advise. I will keep it in mind.

bakencake Posted 31 Jul 2010 , 6:37pm
post #27 of 32

Dear vmw774180,
notice how the lady buying the cake had no problem stating her price. Why do you? you are the one making it. she came up to you. sometimes it's hard but you have to stand up to them and politely say -sorry but i charge this much for that cake- minus the sorry part.

DARYLNDI Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 3:06am
post #28 of 32

I posted this on JamieAnn's page for the price list but decided I would ask here aswell:

I have been doing cakes for family and friends and have had no idea what to charge for them. I am starting to get other orders and didn't know what to say/charge. I was only going to charge $100 for the sushi cake I did but the man paid me $200. I have a question though... I was ask to do a purse and shoe. How do you charge for that? If you carve cake up how do you know what the svgs are then? IDK if that is a crazy question or not. Tks agn.

tiggy2 Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 3:31am
post #29 of 32

You charge for the # of servings you start with before carving, not what you're left with.

BoozeBabe Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 3:36am
post #30 of 32

A favorite restaurant in my area is famous for their double-deckers. YUM !! Their menu explains EXACTLY what you get with each menu item. At the top & bottom of the menu is printed "EXTRAS ARE EXTRA" Very simple. Make up a price list and stick to it. I have learned in my business I had to get a really big backbone really quickly. That can also translate to Beotch to some people. i wouldn't think of going to a dept. store and say I only want to pay xxx$$ for a dress. Why should someone dictate your prices? Put on your big girl pants and give her your price.

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